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MICROPLASTICS AS VECTORS FOR BIOACCUMULATION OF HYDROPHOBIC ORGANIC CHEMICALS IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT: A STATE-OF-THE-SCIENCE REVIEW

Abstract: Astate-of-the-science review was conducted to examine the potential for microplastics to sorb hydrophobic organic chemicals

(HOCs) from the marine environment, for aquatic organisms to take up these HOCs from the microplastics, and for this exposure to result

in adverse effects to ecological and human health. Despite concentrations of HOCs associated with microplastics that can be orders of

magnitude greater than surrounding seawater, the relative importance of microplastics as a route of exposure is difficult to quantify

because aquatic organisms are typically exposed to HOCs from various compartments, including water, sediment, and food. Results of

laboratory experiments and modeling studies indicate that HOCs can partition from microplastics to organisms or from organisms to

microplastics, depending on experimental conditions. Very little information is available to evaluate ecological or human health effects

from this exposure. Most of the available studies measured biomarkers that are more indicative of exposure than effects, and no studies

showed effects to ecologically relevant endpoints. Therefore, evidence is weak to support the occurrence of ecologically significant

adverse effects on aquatic life as a result of exposure to HOCs sorbed to microplastics or to wildlife populations and humans from

secondary exposure via the food chain. More data are needed to fully understand the relative importance of exposure to HOCs from

microplastics compared with other exposure pathways. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:16671676.

 

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About the author

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Dryden has unique knowledge combination of biology, chemistry and technology and is the inventor of the activated, bio-resistant filter media AFM®. Dr. Dryden is one of the world`s leading experts in sustainable water treatment.

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Life on earth depends upon healthy Oceans, we have 10 years to stop toxic chemical pollution, or life on earth may become impossible

Dr. Howard Dryden, CSO

Goes Foundation

Roslin Innovation Centre
The University of Edinburgh
Easter Bush Campus
Midlothian EH25 9RG

Email. howard@goesfoundation.com